The latest to reach my ears, thanks to the BBC, is that, in the same week that they announced vast numbers of redundancies in the armed forces, with amalgamations of units, and battalions disappearing, and much more, they have also announced that the company that was chosen to supply security guards for the games, G4S (Group Four as used to be, but they changed their name when they kept letting prisoners escape), has found that they cannot fulfil the demands of that contract and that an additional 3,500 troops will be needed.
I mean.... seriously...I'm speechless. Talk about moronic planning and idiotic announcement timing! Who is running this shower of useless space wasters?
Oh yes, silly question. I remember. For the government it is Eton Boy Cameron, who is where he is because of his connections, his sense of entitlement, and a monumental ego which tells him he can do the job (which very clearly, he can't).
And for the Olympics, it is the Right Honourable the Lord Sir Sebastian Coe, whose only success in running anything was the 1500 meters (although I'd grant him he was good at that).
A spokeperson from G4S (doubtless emerging from under a bridge where she had just deposited some of her unpaid staff) said: "This has been an unprecedented and very complex security recruitment, training and deployment exercise which has been carried out to a tight time scale. (Yes seriously, she actually said that!!!!)
"We have encountered some issues in relation to workforce supply and scheduling over the last couple of weeks, but are resolving these every day (note for the sake of efficiency: you only need to resolve them once) and remain committed to providing a security workforce for the start of the London 2012 Games." (Well, I'm glad she's confident, she's probably the only one who is.)
For heaven's sake, how long have they had to organise this? How many unemployed people are there in the south of England? What they hell is the problem?
The military was already being stretched to provide the 13,500 troops which were originally envisaged as necessary; the deployment of an additional 3,500 means that all summer leave will have to be cancelled. That is all leave when the kids are on holiday from school (and it's technically illegal to take children on holiday in term time).
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is to announce more details about the extra troops on Thursday. (Can't wait for that!)
In the meantime the Home Office said that they had agreed to offer help to G4S by revising the level of military support. The government, they said, were focused on delivering a "safe and secure Games". (Frankly having this lot focussed on anything doesn't inspire me with any kind of confidence.)
The government is paying out £553 million for security at the stadia and G4S's contract is costing £300 million. (Just as well
England the UK is a rich country.)
With 2 weeks to go and cracks in the bridges over the main road from Heathrow to London, complete chaos at immigration points in London with queues hours long (before the games even starts), lack of trained security staff, and disgruntled troops (who frankly are unlikely to be impressed by Boris Johnson's simpering about them being the bravest in the world), and probably a thousand other things that they have so far managed to hush up, the whole thing looks like a catastrophe waiting to happen.
PS: Off topic--It occurs to me that any time during the Olympic period would be a bad time to travel outside the UK. I reckon that they will move almost all their immigration staff to London to cope with the chaos there, leaving other airports and ports with comparatively few staff. So unless you like queues I'd give that a miss. Pity it's coming as the UK is suffering its wettest summer ever. People are going to be literally queueing up to get away.